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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 2, 1980)
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thursday, October 2, 1980
lincoln, nebraska vol. 105, no. 29
DeCamp wants clarification on NU insurance plan
By Steve Miller
State Sen. John DeCamp of Neligh has received many
letters concerning NU's new insurance program, but he
hasn't received any response to a letter he sent to univer
sity representatives, he said.
DeCamp said he has received dozens of letters from
employees concerned with the new insurance program and
changes in benefits.
A contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield was
dropped and a new contract with Aetna Life and Casualty
was made in August.
Under the new contract NU pays Aetna to administer
the program and process claims. Premiums are placed in
trust and Aetna is reimbursed for paid claims out of the
Money in trust may be used by NU much the same way
an insurance company uses the money.
DeCamp said earlier that he was investigating the new
program to determine its constitutionality and who
assumes risk if claims should exceed the amount placed in
DeCamp said he still is waiting for answers from the
"My goals are to make sure, that the university is get
ting the best insurance for the money but to make sure it
is true insurance," DeCamp said. "And I want to make
sure that employees know what is going on.
"And if they are taking a risk I want them to be in
formed. And they are."
In a letter dated Sept. 11 to Charles M. Pallesen, Jr.,
attorney for the university, DeCamp said he still had
doubts about where liability lies in regard to the Aetna
DeCamp also wrote that he had received "a variety of
responses not all leading to the same conclusion" in past
DeCamp asked Pallesen to provide him with "definitive
answers" to the questions of who assumes liability for
paying claims in excess of premiums.
DeCamp said he also asked Pallesen to explain whether
Aetna's commission is a charge for administering the pro
gram or if it purchases insurance, and asks for clarification
of legalities if NU should decide to terminate the contract.
Pallesen said a reply had not been sent to DeCamp yet
because additional research was being done to answer the
Pallesen also said additional information was needed
from Aetna officials and the reply could be made as soon
as he received that information.
fallesen said he expected a response from Aetna soon
and didn't think an undue amount of time had expired
since he received DeCamp's letter.
Pallesen said he thinks the program is constitutional be
cause it doesn't bind the Legislature with liability.
"We cannot and have not bound the Legislature,"
"All this is, is a restructuring of benefits. We're not
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Photo by Jon Natvig
Debbie Wheeler is oblivious to her surroundings, including the rush of Broyhill
Fountain, great throngs of students and the incessant exhortations by one of the
many itinerant fire and brimstone evangelists (pictured in the upper center of photo)
that have visited UNL in the past few weeks. Not even one of her massive bubbles
gets the slightest bit of acknowledgement from the studious woman. It seems that a
good textbook (or an upcoming test) and a warm afternoon are about the only things
that are needed to command the attention of some students.
Nebraska, political leaders
discuss debate withdrawal
By Mary Kempkes
The presidential debates 1980 are dead.
The League of. Women Voters threw in
the towel Tuesday and cancelled reserva
tions in Portland, Ore., for what was to
have been a debate between presidential
candidate Ronald Reagan and President
Jimmy Carter. And maybe John Anderson.
According to Nebraska party leaders
from all sides, bickering over Anderson's
participation effectively killed the debates.
Before the Sept. 21 debate, the League
of Women Voters announced that any can
didate capturing 15 percent of the voters in
a national poll could participate. That rule
meant independent John Anderson could
attend. But President Carter would not
participate in the debates and said he
would meet Reagan one-on-one first and
debate Anderson at a later date. So Reagan
met Anderson alone.
Then Reagan said he would not attend
the Portland debates unless Anderson was
included. Carter maintained his former po
sition and refused the invitation. The
League of Women Voters withdrew then
accommodations and studio reservations
when a compromise was not reached with
in a few days.
Dave Heineman, executive director of th
the Nebraska Republican office, defended
Reagan's insistence that Anderson be in
cluded in a three-way debate.
"I think the primary reason for their in
sisting on Anderson is that they perceive
John Anderson as a viable candidate and he
should be considered in the debate. And
what's wrong with him being included?"
Heineman asked. "He got 15 percent in the
Other state party leaders agree that
Anderson was fair game in a tug of war
"between Carter and Reagan.
Anderson's Lincoln campaign coordin
ator, Betty Swanson, said Carter and
Reagan acted like children, each using
Anderson for political gains.
"It's psychological warfare. It certainly
is making Mr. Carter look like a small man
and Mr. Reagan look like the all encom
passing good fellow," she said,
Swanson added that it would have been
better all around if Anderson would not
have participated in the debates.
"It's killed the debates. Now we're with
out the chance of a third debate.
"I hope the public will realize they have
been denied a privilege they should have
had by political strategy for votes rather
than a strategy of letting the. people know
what the issues are."
Susan Welch; UNL political science pro
fessor, said John Anderson was used as an
excuse bv both candidates to avoid the de
bates. "I think the basic point is that no can
didate wants to debate when they have
more to lose than they have to gain," she
"Reagan prefers to rest on what he did
on the first debate and not risk a misstate
ment (in a second debate)."
Carter does not need the debates, Welch
said, and the President probably does not
want to credit Anderson's campaign with
Nebraska Executive Director for the
Nebraska Democratic Party, Mrs. Marg
"Carter did not really refuse to debate.
It was just that the setting was not accep
table. He didn't want to give credit to
Anderson's campaign," she said.
And the debates aren't so important
anyway, Slominski said.
"The debates we saw between Reagan
and Anderson weren't true debates so
much as it was two candidates standing up
there giving campaign speeches."
If Carter.s lack of participation in the
debates had any affect on his popularity,
Slominski said there is enough time before
November to make up for it.
The debates give voters a chance to see
and compare all candidates together, Welch
said, although they don't change anybody's
"They're more than a canned commer
cial or just a little blurb on the news,"
ASUN senator resigns 'unresponsive' position
By Laure Perlinger
An ASUN Arts & Sciences senator has resigned his po
sition, citing time commitment and the student govern
ment's unresponsiveness to current UNL issues, as causes
for his action.
"ASUN is not doing its job, it's not -representing the
students of UNL," said Scott Behm, a University Studies
major from Scottsbluff. Behm said he no longer wanted
to be part of an organization that wasn't doing its job.
"A lot of people interpret it (resigning) as a cop out,
but that's not it," he said, explaining that ASUN sena
tors are supposed to represent their whole college, when
many of them care only about limited interest groups.
The issues facing ASUN are academics, finances, and
student life at UNL, not the Nestle boycott, or Rosken's
role at Kent State, Behm said.
He said the time commitment was also responsible for
his resignation. Behm's involvement on campus limits his
time, which he realizes is his own decision. He said he
.doesn't have time to spend ten hours each week for ASUN
when his opinions fall on "stony ground" everytime.
Behm said he began to feel attacked by other sena
tors. "I personally felt that when I said something, it was
taken as a Greek opinion," the Alpha Tau Omega senior
said. Although ASUN is split about half Greeks and
half Independents, there shouldn't be a split of any kind
on a student governement board, Behm said. This did not
precipitate his resignation, but it enforced his decision,
"ASUN has become too philosophical and idealistic;
instead of being realistic " he said. "They are acting as
individual lobbyists, and playing legislators at the same
Another of Behm's concerns is the amount of time
.spent on the ASUN elections, rather than plans for after
Behm said he thinks he can get more accomplished as
an involved student than he could as a senator.
Behm said he thought a lot of positive policy could be
worked on by ASUN, but soon realized that the only
power they had was the power of persuasion.
"I saw a lot of potential for tilings to happen, but they
never did," he said.
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